This Saturday marks World Car Free Day – an annual event that encourages people to ditch their cars and try greener forms of transport instead.
Around 50 British towns have staged events to promote cycling and the use of bus and rail transport each year in the last decade as part of Car Free Day.
However, fewer than ten towns plan to get involved this weekend.
This drop in interest is the result of Government budget cuts and dwindling interest in the environment, so says the Environmental Transport Association (ETA).
The body wrote to more than 400 British councils and local authorities earlier this year, asking if they were planning any events for World Car Free Day. Just two replied.
Oblivious to pollution
Andrew Davis, ETA Director, explained the importance of Car Free Day: "The economic downturn has distracted attention and diverted budgets away from green initiatives such as Car Free Day, but questioning our over-dependence on cars is as much about saving money at the pumps as it is improving the local environment in which we live and work.
"The idea is not to put cars on trial or to condemn drivers' desire for mobility, but those of us who live or work in urban areas become oblivious to the ever-increasing noise, air pollution and stress from traffic without realising the detrimental effect it has on our health and quality of life."
World Car Free Day remains a big deal in other countries with over 550 events organised in 30 countries. Spain leads the way with the events lined up with the UK sucking the bottom below Croatia and Slovenia.
It takes place every September 22 to highlight alternatives to car travel, the rights of pedestrians and cyclists, and the need for more and better public transport.
Visit worldcarfree.net/ for more details.
John has been writing about cars since the start of 2011, with a particular fondness for models with USB connectivity and a serious distaste for steering wheels with too many buttons. Can often be found trying to seduce 1.0-litre engines. When away from things that go brum, apostrophe snob John can often be found making noise with varying degrees of musicality.
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